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Mindful : February 2015
6 Spend more time with your dog, cat, bird, or fish In a study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medi- cine, researchers concluded: “ People perceive pets as important, supportive parts of their lives, and sig nificant cardiovascular and behavioral benefits a re associated with those perceptions.” Indeed, pet owners have better than average survival rates after heart attacks and a lower risk of succumbing to cardiovas- cula r disease in the first place. And older people who own pets are generally healthier and happier than those who don’t . You’ve hea rd it before but we’ll say it again: Petting a pet reduces stress, calms you down fast, and makes you feel better on so many levels. 7 Don’t yield to road rage When someone forgets to sig nal or stops abruptly or is just making us #&@!@** late for work, we can be so quick to blow our stack. Even people who don’t swear much are suddenly hurling pro- fanities. If you have this habit, you probably won’t eliminate it in one fell swoop, so make it a priority to notice when it comes up. Be curious about why it’s happening and why it’s so intense. The very act of repeatedly reflecting will begin to defuse it. 8 Stuck in line? Let go! For some stra nge reason when we get in lines (or queues or snakes, as they’re called in some places) we tend to get antsy. If there’s more than one line, we start looking at the other lines and wonder- ing whether we chose the wrong one. Before you know it, in your head you’re griping about the people ahead of you and how slow or stupid they are...just let it go. What good is it doing? 9 Roll with the interruptions It’s easy to get totally fixated on our plan for the day (or the next hour for that matter), and anything that gets in our way, we just want to stea m- roll past. But let’s face it: Life is filled with interruptions. Get used to it. Embrace the disruption. It’s what keeps things f resh and interesting. 10 Go to your happy place But first you need to have one! Designate a place in your home or apar tment or out in nature or a public place where you can retreat to when you need to get away from it all. 26 mindful February 2015 PHOTOGRAPHS:©CHRISTOPHERDODGE/DOLLARPHOTOCLUB,©ISTOCK.COM/MEHMETTORLAK how to live a mindful life